It probably goes without saying that parenting is a rewarding yet challenging journey, filled with ups and downs. I feel like parents need this reminder every day things get hard again. “This is normal…you’re okay” I whisper to myself, taking slow deep breaths. Each child is unique, bringing their own set of joys and difficulties. In my own experience, I’ve faced the daily trials of parenting with a son who grapples with ADHD and a daughter whose stubbornness is a force to be reckoned with.


Navigating these challenges has taught me that becoming a compassionate parent is not just a goal; it’s a transformative journey.


Navigating the Storms of ADHD and Stubbornness

My son’s ADHD presents a set of challenges that demand patience and understanding. The constant energy, impulsivity, and difficulty focusing can make even the simplest tasks seem like insurmountable mountains. On the other hand, my daughter’s strong-willed nature and determination to do things her own way can lead to clashes and power struggles. As a parent, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and sometimes lost in the chaos. My inability to 100% control their behavior is something I’ve had to come to terms with over the years. “They are humans who are infinitely loved and just need guidance.” The truths I tell myself continue – otherwise I will respond out of chaotic impulse and hurt them with my words.

Amidst the storm, I realized the crucial importance of embracing compassion. Instead of viewing my children’s behaviors as intentional defiance or a lack of control, I sought to understand the root causes. My son’s ADHD, for instance, is not only a choice he makes; it’s a part of who he is. Recognizing this truth allowed me to approach his challenges with empathy and patience.

One pivotal moment came when I took a step back to observe how my daughter’s stubbornness was actually a reflection of her strong sense of independence. She wants to make well-informed decisions, so she gets mad at me when I don’t stick to a predetermined schedule (hey, I’m trying to be flexible!) and it messes up her study plans or free time. But she makes me proud. I am proud to see her taking charge of her own life. It’s a necessary step toward adulting, and she needs to feel free to challenge me when the facts don’t line up. While her insistence on doing things her way sometimes clashed with my plans, it was also a testament to her developing personality. Rather than trying to control her, I started to appreciate her determination and began finding ways to channel it positively.


A Glimpse into the ADHD Challenge

One evening, my son’s hyperactivity was at its peak. Frustrated by his inability to sit still and follow simple instructions, I found myself on the verge of losing my temper. All he needed to do was fold the basket of laundry in front of him. I felt the rage boiling in my gut, making its way to my head. I could see a bleak future of loud demands and my son shrinking under the weight of my strong temper. Instead, I took a deep breath and decided to connect with him on a different level. I reached to grab his shoulder, not to control, but to bring him closer to me to hug. He likes when I squeeze him, and I love to hug my baby boy (who is almost taller than me and sprouting a few facial hairs), and the tension immediately dissipated. As we embraced, I could talk with him more kindly and tell him how it’s difficult for me to keep repeating myself, how I was getting more upset when he didn’t do a simple task I know he’s capable of – then I saw a spark of joy in his eyes, and I realized that compassion had the power to transform challenging moments into opportunities for connection.

Nurturing Compassionate Parenting

What I’ve learned in these 15 years of parenting cannot be forgotten in moments of urgency and frustration. I have to remind myself of how far my kids have come in their journey of growth and development as amazing people. I have to remind myself of my own growth as an adult, and have compassion on where I used to be as a child.
You don’t have to continue being an angry and frustrated parent. Here are a few things to do as you nurture the compassion for your children (and yourself):

1. Educate Yourself: Understanding the unique challenges your child faces is the first step towards compassionate parenting. Learn about ADHD, stubbornness, and other aspects that influence your child’s behavior.

2. Practice Patience: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and compassionate parenting is an ongoing process. Be patient with yourself and your child. Progress may be slow, but the impact is lasting. Small moments, small decisions to choose compassion with make a huge impact.

3. Communication is Key: Establish open lines of communication with your children. Encourage them to express themselves and be receptive to their thoughts and feelings. This not only helps you understand them better but also strengthens the parent-child bond. Don’t be afraid to share how you’re feeling as well, and model how you recover from being angry in the moment. (Super important!)

4. Seek Support: Parenting can be isolating, especially when faced with unique challenges. Seek support from friends, family, or support groups. Sharing experiences and learning from others can provide valuable insights and emotional support.

5. Celebrate Small Wins: Acknowledge and celebrate the small victories. Whether it’s a day without meltdowns or a successful collaboration on a project, recognizing progress boosts both your and your child’s confidence.

Becoming a compassionate parent is a transformative journey that requires a shift in perspective. By embracing the truth of our children’s unique qualities and challenges, we can navigate the storms of behavior issues and stubbornness with love and understanding. It’s not about eradicating their quirks but rather about fostering an environment where they can thrive. Embark on this journey with an open heart, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to nurturing a long-lasting relationship between yourself and your child.





    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This